China, buyer of 65 percent of the world’s iron ore cargoes, expanded the destinations it got the commodity from this year with the first reported spot shipments from Oman, the Philippines and Sierra Leone.
Fourteen Capesize vessels, the largest dry-bulk ships used to transport iron ore, were hired on single-cargo charters to China from the three countries in the first 51 weeks of 2012, according to data from Clarkson Plc, the world’s largest shipbroker, that go back to 2009.
Four were booked to carry a total of 720,000 metric tons of ore from Subic Bay in the Philippines while the same number of vessels shipped 660,000 tons from Pepel in Sierra Leone, according to Clarkson. Six transported 890,0000 tons from Sohar, Oman. All were hired to take cargoes to China, according to the data, which don’t cover shipments under long-term charters.
Vale SA, the world’s largest iron-ore producer, started operating a floating transshipment station at Subic Bay in February that offloads the steelmaking commodity from its largest vessels onto smaller ships. The Rio de Janeiro-based miner also delivers ore to Sohar on its largest ore carriers.
China imported 674.6 million tons in the first 11 months of 2012, according to Customs data compiled by Bloomberg.